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Boston mortgage payment deferment plan aims to aid homeowners amid coronavirus

A dozen major lenders have agreed to ease payment timetables for qualified borrowers in the city

A row of multi-story buildings with the sky prominently in view above them. Shutterstock

A dozen of the largest mortgage lenders in Boston will offer qualified borrowers at least three months of deferred payments on their home loans under a plan that Mayor Marty Walsh’s administration brokered. The move is meant to aid homeowners amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The lenders have also agreed not to report any deferment as a bad loan or to report it to credit-rating agencies as late; and they will not charge late fees on payments or deferments. And those deferred payments will not have to be repaid all at once, but in smaller amounts, according to the administration.

The lenders have agreed to approve any postponements within 21 days of an application and with a minimal amount of red tape. Borrowers will have to demonstrate that the pandemic has financially impacted them enough to qualify for the deferred payments.

The agreement with the mortgage lenders on behalf of owners follows efforts to ease burdens on Boston renters amid coronavirus, including a newly set up Rental Relief Fund and agreements with larger landlords not to evict tenants during the pandemic.

”No person should have to worry about losing their home right now,” Walsh said in a statement on the mortgage plan. “During these times of global uncertainty, homeowners and renters in Boston can be certain that we are doing everything we can to help ease the burden brought on by this pandemic and give them much-needed flexibility.”

The participating lenders are Bank of America, Boston Private, Cambridge Trust Company, Century Bank, Citizens Bank, City of Boston Credit Union, Dedham Savings Bank, Eastern Bank, Mortgage Network Inc., Prime Lending, Salem Five Bank, and Santander Bank.

The city is encouraging borrowers to contact their lenders as well as the city-run Boston Home Center with any questions.